THE BLOG

Two Men in a Rowing Boat Take on the Atlantic (And Make It to the Other Side!)

21/03/2016 10:55 GMT | Updated 22/03/2017 09:12 GMT

It took 18 months of rigorous training, serious determination, plenty of conversations defending our 'crazy' idea, and several close shaves out in the open - but somehow we made it.

It was possibly the best moment of our lives as we stepped onto dry land in Barbados. Firstly, we were both still in one piece. Win. Secondly, we were reunited with our family and friends - no longer just ourselves for company. Double win. Also, Barbados - that's not too shabby a place to be at any time, never mind after a grueling 54 days rowing over the Atlantic.

It was crazy to think that just hours before, we had possibly the toughest afternoon of the entire trip. We knew the West Coast is notorious for high winds and currents, but didn't realise it would take us six incredibly slow hours battling through torrential rain to reach the final straight. It was almost as if the elements were teasing us as we rowed towards the port, where we knew our families, friends and support teams were waiting for us.

But then, the final strokes and we were on land! Rather embarrassingly, our legs didn't quite get the memo though. Cue lots of stumbling around trying to get our legs back into walking mode.

It was only that night over our first proper meal (double cheeseburger and several beers!), when we were telling our welcome party our best and worst moments of the trip, that it actually started to sink in what we had just done.

We had laughed, blagged, stumbled and pushed our way through what is regarded as one of the toughest human feats on the planet. We heard that a couple of rowers had been rescued while we were out at sea after a capsize - something that had happened to us just weeks before - and realised just how lucky we were.

Relief. Exhaustion. Pride. Just some of the emotions we were feeling, in equal measures.

There were certainly parts of the trip where we felt as if we were in the middle of some weird Hunger Games-esque experiment, with the weather Game Makers pulling strings like puppeteers, throwing obstacles and challenges at us for entertainment's sake. Sometimes it felt like our efforts were repeatedly quashed - especially when battling into a monstrous North-Westerly wind which was crushing our progress and pushing us backwards.

It was moments like these that we were so thankful to have a line of communication open with the team back on land. However, getting online from the middle of the Atlantic is exactly as complicated as you would expect.

We knew that we had to figure out some system for collaborating with our sponsors and teams back home. We looked at what others had done when undertaking similar journeys and found most crews used e-mail for all of their communications. But when your signal is as patchy as ours was, sending a couple of photos back to base camp can take an age. Plus, data roaming costs are a big consideration for a small team like ours, so efficient use of connectivity was a top priority.

So, we were determined to find a better solution. We presented this problem to a couple of tech wizards, and they came up with a pretty novel (and surprisingly successful) solution. They worked with some of the engineers and solution architects to rig up our satellite internet system so that our Dropbox Business account was always connected, but nothing else was. This increased the speed of our transfers, while minimising the cost.

It meant file uploads went as quickly, as efficiently and as cheaply as possible. We could send a host of the photos, videos and general ramblings we had produced during the few minutes a day that we had got out from behind the oars, quickly and cheaply. What's more, after speaking to the Dropbox team, we think we might have broken a record - the first team to collaborate via Dropbox Business from the middle of the Atlantic.

Once again, despite ignoring the advice of more experienced maritime adventurers, we had somehow stumbled onto the perfect solution!

Now back in civilisation, we have the big task of organising all our hundreds of photos and GoPro videos from the trip. But for once, these 'holiday' snaps won't be forgotten on some long lost memory card - we'll be getting them up on the cloud so you can view them soon. We'll also be collaborating with our sponsors on the material we gathered over the course of the trip so they can use this for their campaigns - so keep your eyes peeled!

Now - time to get back to spending time with those who have supported us for the past 18 months. They deserve a big thank you.